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The 2010 IOM Report: The Future of Nursing Essay

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) released its 2010 report called The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health and it calls for an increase in nurses working in the profession to be “80 percent BSN-prepared” by the year 2020. (An 80% BSN workforce by 2020?, n.d.). The four key messages that the committee developed included ideas such as: Nurses using their complete education and training during practice Nurses should have access to a better education system that lets them further their education successfully Nurses should work with physicians as partners in changing the healthcare system in the United States Policies and Procedures should effectively use data collection


Along with the education portion of “BSN in Ten”, The Institute of Medicine focused on facts that nurse’s education from the 20th century were not adequate for the 21st century anymore. The patients’ needs and care environments have changed and become more complex. There have been arguments that it is not possible to teach nursing students in 2 years for an Associate’s Degree what the Bachelor’s Degree nurses learn in 4 years. There is not enough emphasis spent on the evidence based practice in a 2-year degree, therefore, making the Bachelor’s Degree a better choice.

The nurses need to be educated to deliver a higher quality of care. Nursing, as a profession, makes up the biggest portion of our nation’s health care. When taking care of patients, nurses have a direct impact on the care of the patient. The closeness to patients and having a direct effect on patient outcomes, gives nurses the ability to effect the healthcare system. Nurses will come in contact with a diverse range of patients and will need to act as leaders by delivering safe patient care. Nurses need to be able to succeed in this profession. (The Future of Nursing: Focus on Education – Institute of Medicine. (n.d.).)


Patients have the right to expect to be cared for depending on their distinctive needs and not what is most favorable for the professionals involved in their health care. The healthcare system needs to undergo a transformation to achieve this goal. A health care system transformation will require an evaluation of the current roles of multiple health professionals, which includes nurses. The Affordable Care Act of 2010 encapsulates new role opportunities in the health care structure. Nurses will have the chance to participate in the transformation of the health care system for patients. If healthcare is going to gain an advantage on this opportunity, there will need to be a change to the Registered Nurses scope of practice. (The Future of Nursing. (n.d.).)


Strong leadership is paramount to enable the Nurse’s role in the transformation of the Strong leadership is of the utmost importance to strengthen the nurse’s participation in the change of the healthcare system. The report states the, “nursing leader must be able to translate new research findings to the practice environment and into nursing education and from nursing education into practice and policy” (IOM report, 2010). When a nurses education level expands and they increase their knowledge of policies, they will be able to collaborate with physicians on a higher level. The nurses will be able to participate in making decisions. Having nurses in a leadership role will empower others to achieve their highest potential and has a positive effect on patient care and the healthcare environment.


Nurses are in a perfect position to help transform health care, but they definitely need the support from regulatory bodies, hospitals, managed care organizations, colleges & universities. If they all work together with a common goal, patient outcomes will improve and the healthcare system will have a more positive appearance while improving the health of our patients.

1) An 80% BSN workforce by 2020? (n.d.). Retrieved March 28, 2015, from http://www.reflectionsonnursingleadership.org/Pages/Vol38_1_Edwards_IOM Report.aspx 2) The Future of Nursing: Focus on Education – Institute of Medicine. (n.d.). Retrieved March 28, 2015, from http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2010/The-Future-of-Nursing-Leading-Change-Advancing-Health/Report-Brief-Education.aspx?page=2 3) The Future of Nursing. (n.d.). Retrieved March 31, 2015, from http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=12956&page=85 4) Institute of Medicine. (2010).The future of nursing: Leading change, advancing health. Retrieved from http://www.iom.edu/reports/2010/the-future-of-nursing-leading-change-advancing-health.aspx.

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